Arts and Entertainment

Youth In Arts around town

Middle school banjo musician Sean Leisle of South Whidbey plays for the seniors at Maple Ridge Retirement Community in Freeland as part of Youth In Arts happening through April. - Photo courtesy of Ashley McConnaughey
Middle school banjo musician Sean Leisle of South Whidbey plays for the seniors at Maple Ridge Retirement Community in Freeland as part of Youth In Arts happening through April.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Ashley McConnaughey

Art by the youthful set abounds on South Whidbey Island.

To celebrate the gaggle of talented young people who excel at music, dance, theater and visual art, the students’ mentors have organized their pride. Each spring, teachers, parents, students and friends present Youth In Arts, a three-week-long extravaganza highlighting the myriad artists found on the South End, all who are under the age of 19.

This past Friday, you may have seen Whidbey Island Academy advanced strings students Hannah McConnaughey and Christopher Anderson, along with their teacher Linda Good, serenading a crowd of shoppers at PayLess as part of Youth In Arts. The students had performed earlier in the day for a crowd of beaming seniors at the Maple Ridge senior housing community.

Or perhaps you caught the “Guerrilla Improv” performance at Island Coffee House & Books later that evening, as performed by the Whidbey Island Academy high school and middle school thespians, or the hip hop dance solos of brothers and WIA students Graham and Zane Vanderwood.

Visual artists of all ages and from all of South Whidbey schools have created art that currently hangs in the Freeland, Langley and Clinton libraries, the Clinton and Langley post offices and at Island Coffee House & Books through this month.

Young fine artists from the Whidbey Island Waldorf School, Langley Middle School, South Whidbey Intermediate School, Whidbey Island Academy, South Whidbey High School and Island Dance are featured at all these exhibits.

An artists’ reception will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, April 24 at Island Coffeehouse in Langley.

At 9:15 a.m. Wednesday, April 24 the drama students and advanced strings students of Whidbey Island Academy, and dance students of Island Dance will perform at an assembly at the South Whidbey Primary School.

Later that day, at 5:30 p.m., the Langley Middle School jazz students will perform both solos and combinations at PayLess in Freeland.

Whidbey Island Center for the Arts will host a series of performances for Youth In Arts from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, April 27 with an evening of dance and theater.

Dancers and theater artists from all area elementary, middle and high schools and from Whidbey Island Dance Theatre and Island Dance will perform a one-act, 30-minute play, a dance ensemble piece, dance competition pieces and other scenes from

theater.

The fun and talent continues from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, April 28 through April 30 with performers from several area schools performing jazz, music for strings and a taste of world music.

A photography installation of work by South Whidbey High School, Bayview School, Whidbey Island Academy and the Whidbey Island Waldorf School students will be on display at WICA during the week’s performances.

The community benefits many times over from the talent that is honed within the schools on South Whidbey. Reaping the benefits of some of that training are Whidbey Children’s Theater, which presents “Charlotte’s Web” Friday, April 24 through Sunday, April 26 in Langley. Call 221-2281 for tickets.

Performing Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 25 at South Whidbey High School Auditorium is Whidbey Island Dance Theatre presenting its annual spring Dance and Choreography Showcase at 7:30 p.m.

The Youth In Arts program would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of South Whidbey area-teachers including Leslie Woods, Mary McLeod, Kimmer Morris, Jess Foley, Linda Racicot, Chris Harshman, Don Wodjenski, Gene Kofkin, Ashley McConnaughey, Sue Wolf, Susan Sandri, Charlene Brown, Lynn Smith, Bonnie Freundlich, Kris Rodden, Good and Kat Fritz.

All that’s happening during Youth In Arts, as well as some fun and colorful visuals, can be seen on the Web site at www.whidbeyyouthinarts.com. The Web site and Youth In Arts poster were designed by Timmie Sinclair of Grey Chicken WebWorks.

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